Army Integrated Family Support Network
What is it?
Army Integrated Family Support Network (AIFSN), working in concert with other military and civilian agencies, is intended to establish a comprehensive multi-agency approach for community support and services to meet the diverse needs of Active Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers, Families and employers throughout the entire deployment cycle.
What has Army Done?
The AIFSN was initially developed by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command (FMWRC), National Guard Bureau (NGB), U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Family and Child and Youth Program staffs, based on field visits conducted during FY 04. The intent was to establish a comprehensive multi-agency approach for community support and services to meet the diverse needs of Active and mobilized Guard and Reserve Army Families. The concept includes both Army Community Service/Family Programs and Child and Youth Services. AIFSN was piloted across the United States by region, which led to a comprehensive understanding of the gaps and a plan to establish the network of service delivery. The FMWRC developed a solid strategy to provide geographic support, rather than unit or component and to determine challenges and staffing requirements while addressing the uniqueness of the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Army leadership is engaged in this change of delivery system for Family Support, which involves the Transformation of Family programs. AIFSN has been resourced for $63.2 Million this fiscal year. When fully implemented sometime in FY 08, the global network will address Family issues head on by providing a single, holistic institutional network of standardized services. The network is being specifically designed with geographically dispersed Soldiers and their Families in mind, in both the active and reserve component, from mobilized Soldiers, to recruiters, to Families located outside reasonable driving distances of military facilities. The specific parts of AIFSN that will enhance support include networking in each state through Interservice Family Assistance Committees, improved technology to link all Families with the appropriate support and networking among all component Family program staff, so that Families receive the same baseline services closest to where they live. Also included is core training for all component Family program staff and training on community agencies and partnerships to support the Families in their communities. As AIFSN reaches full operational capacity, the Army will continue to support and resource, as Families will be comfortable going into the closest Family program office and receiving excellent support and answers.
Why is this important to the Army?
The AIFSN delivery system offers Soldiers and Families the support they deserve, especially, the geographically dispersed. It "connects" the geographically separated Army and Families, and provides access to all Family programs and services. The idea is to harness the resources that are already in place, use personal contact and technology to improve on the delivery of service so that Families get support closest to where they live. From mobilized Soldiers, to recruiters, to Families located outside reasonable driving distances to military facilities -- The AIFSN provides information, tools and resources. It’s made up of garrison Army Community Service, Child and Youth Services, Guard Family Assistance Centers, Reserve Readiness Centers and civilian community agencies. Over the next year, AIFSN will continue to standardize programs and services and introduce a new way of linking services across America and overseas.
Web site: http://www.myarmylifetoo.com/